The Beaumont, Texas high school teacher seen on video slapping and verbally abusing a Black student has been terminated by the county’s school board.
Atlanta Black Star reported that the teacher, identified as 63-year-old Mary Hastings, was arrested April 8 for assaulting a Black student in class. She was held in Jefferson County and was placed on administrative leave. The Beaumont Independent School District removed her from the classroom after the incident and viral video.
According to local Texas news station KFDM, the school board decided to part ways with Hastings after receiving a recommendation from the superintendent. Members voted to terminate her contract on Tuesday during a regularly scheduled meeting.
On April 8, video of Hastings slapping and abusing a Black student went viral. In the video, the students in the background could be heard laughing and screaming. One of the students asked the math teacher why she was hitting the student.
Hastings told the student she was abusing him “because you’re stopping him from graduating, you idiot a**!”
Hastings continued slapping the student. Atlanta Black Star also reported that the student was allegedly disrupting the class. During the immediate aftermath, an anonymous student said the teacher has dealt with constant disruptions. According to the initial report from KFDM, students were also throwing things at the woman.
“You know we only see 12 seconds of it. That’s all it is. It’s not the whole thing,” the student said to the Texas news outlet. “They were saying that’s not like her. They were upset that she had done it. It was hurtful. She had to be escorted off campus.”
Since this incident, there have been other violent responses to Black teens by authority figures. For example, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ja’Colby Davis was beaten by a gang of cops over the past weekend.